Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Portrait of an Edwardian Lady

Oil on canvas, 14"x11"

In this painting I wanted to evoke a fin-de-si├Ęcle mood. A willowy red haired lady in an elegant black dress creates a dramatic figure within a golden Parisian style interior. She reminds me of a character in a Henry James novel, or many of John Singer Sargent's portrait subjects...a beautiful young woman with a hint of mystery and turbulence beneath her composed exterior. While painted with loose, impressionistic brushstrokes, I enjoyed evoking details such as the rope of pearls and the charming cabriole leg salon chair in the background. 

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Nude Reading in Antique Bed - sold

Oil on Canvas, 10"x8"

This is a figurative painting of a lovely redhead in a charming state of deshabille, draped in a silky purple robe which slips carelessly off one shoulder. She is seated on the edge of an antique bed reading a slim volume with great concentration. Her dark red hair is complemented by the muted mossy green of the background wall while the dark Victorian headboard outlines her profile. I like the combination of sweetness and sensuality in this scene as the rich purple of the robe sets off her pale skin and the very act of reading a genuine book speaks of an earlier time.

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Rooftops in Passy

Oil on canvas, 14"x11"

This painting is a view of Parisian rooftops in the elegant neighborhood of Passy in the 16th arrondisement. In this painting I wanted to capture the exquisite details of these Beaux-Arts buildings with an impressionistic feeling. I painted this on a reddish ground which I allowed to peek through and between painterly brushstrokes creating a warm glow and unifying tone between the buildings and sky. I was very pleased to achieve great impasto textures in the clouds.

I adore the visual feast which is Paris with its distinctive historic architecture and atmosphere. While painting this I imagined all the gorgeous apartments contained within these buildings with their quintessential mansard roofs and balconies. I was inspired by all the Impressionist painters but in particular Gustave Caillebotte whose wonderful cityscapes captured the energy and architecture of his era. I've always been a fan of Caillebotte and I previously painted an homage to his great work "Paris Street, Rainy Afternoon" which can be seen here.

Saturday, August 12, 2017


Graphite on paper, 11"x8.5"

This is a drawing of a handsome man in jeans relaxing on a sofa. It's a combination of portrait and figurative study of my favorite model. Somehow, even when I set out to do a figure study it becomes a portrait of that person. I like the open, lounging quality of his pose. It's so typical of the comfortably confident way men sit. There is an interesting combination of the classical and contemporary in this piece. While pondering his gentle, thoughtful expression I realized that this piece is about both my contemplation of him and his own inward contemplation.

I am a big fan of John Singer Sargent's superb male figure drawings and I've been inspired to explore drawing again after a long period of almost exclusively painting. It has been fun to focus on line and tone. I'm enjoying the spontaneity and expressive quality of these drawings.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Cesar at the Window

Oil on canvas, 10"x8"

This painting is a classic figure painting of a nude man standing at a window. His musculature is sharply defined by natural light. There is a quality of yearning to this figure as he gazes out at the world beyond the window and a great deal of atmosphere in the interior around him. 

This small painting has wonderful texture and impasto highlights with impressionistic glimpses of light and greenery in the window. While this is essentially a figure study I am always interested in conveying a sense of the human being and a mood, not just a body.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Portrait of Young Ernest Hemingway - sold

Oil on canvas, 10"x8"

This is a portrait of the 18 year old Ernest Hemingway at the start of his voluntary service as an ambulance driver in Italy during WWI. It's based on an old black and white photo and I thought it would be fun to paint Hemingway as though he had posed for a quick portrait study by John Singer Sargent, who went to capture the conflict in Europe as an official war artist. I kept the brushwork loose and I think it has the look of portrait from the early 20th century.

It was fascinating to contemplate the young Hemingway in this period shortly before encountering the horrors of war which would both inspire and mark him. I feel he emerged looking quite boyish yet confident, almost cocky...as though he knew that big things were ahead for him.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Girl in a Sidewalk Cafe

Oil on canvas, 12"x9"

This is a painting of a girl seated at a sidewalk cafe, gazing at the passing scene. I wanted to convey the pleasure of sitting with a cup of coffee, indulging in a contemplative mood. 

I was inspired by the Impressionist's many cafe scenes. Renoir, Degas and Manet among others depicted fashionable people of their era enjoying life. While the styles have changed, I like the continuity that some of these pleasures remain the same.